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Monday 24.09.2018 | Name days: Agris, Agrita

Saeima member: Inguna Sudraba’s «dirty tricks» prove our voters are not gullible

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«When then the President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers dissolved the 10th Saeima, which was infested with oligarchs, it was a chance to get away from a state administration controlled by a handful of influential people. In 2014, Inguna Sudraba, who served as State Auditor at the time, had a very good rating in Saeima elections to form the government. However, thanks to the timely leak of information regarding her trip to Moscow, which she denies to this day, and her ties with people close to the Kremlin, voters had enough to make their conclusions. And although Sudraba’s party made it to the Saeima, it does not have any serious representation. This proves that our voters are not gullible,» said chairperson of Saeima’s European Affairs Committee and member of ‘Kustība Par!’ Lolita Čigāne in an interview to BNN.

Oligarch talks swept under the rug or «mumblings of old men»

Čigāne says that attempts to sweep Oligarch talks under the rug and declare them as nothing more than ‘mumblings of old men’ continue in Latvia. According to her, people like Andris Ameriks, Jānis Dūklavs and Aivars Lembergs must not be allowed to work in politics anymore. «They have to carry responsibility for those talks.»

The politician says that Oligarch talks mentioned ways of buying the media in the country. «Lembergs, for example, has an entire network of media that attack everyone who criticizes his actions. They also take the time to praise him and his associates.»

One of the most major problems, according to Čigāne, is that people continue voting for those politicians. According to her, there is a lot of information to take in, and it is difficult for residents to focus and form their opinions. «The goal for oligarchs is to muddy the water and say they aren’t clean, but neither is anyone else; we aren’t honest, but neither is anyone else».

About judicial power, Čigāne said that Lembergs has been involved in different court processes a long time and has become very good at stalling. «We have to be insistent enough to make sure the truth is revealed. We should become more intolerant of such situations – when a person robs the country and hatefully declares his intention to sell it. On top of it all, he dresses in extravagant clothes bough, possibly, using part of the stolen money. Now he sits and sneers at us.»

Politicians forming alliances should not be like contract marriage

Parties or political alliances that wish to participate in Saeima elections in Latvia have to have at least 500 members. It also necessary for parties to be at least one year old to participate in Saeima elections. Čigāne says that the number of members in Kustība Par! will soon reach the required amount. «The requirement for parties to be at least one year old motivated us to form our own political party. The process is very active: we have to think of an action plan and a way to attract similarly-minded people. We also have to consider ways of balancing out everyone’s opinions in a shared vision,» adds Čigāne.

When asked if Kustība Par! has any plans to form an alliance with any other political force, Čigāne did not mention any specific names. She only said that the fact that the party needs assistance is crystal clear. She also said that there are politicians in Unity who share the same vision.

«There are several political parties that are in consideration. Those parties have specific goals they want to accomplish. It would be worth joining forces, but at the same time it should not boil down to a contract marriage, because it is only possible to cooperate with people with ideals close to our own.»

The board of Kustība Par! agrees that the party will remain open for talks with anyone open for cooperation.

Politician Andrejs Mamikins had previously mentioned his intention to found a new public organization. He had also mentioned his openness for cooperation with Kustība Par! party. Čigāne, on the other hand, told BNN that his so-called initiative for cooperation is nothing more than rubbish. She is certain that Mamikins is trying to use sensitive topics like automatic citizenship provision to newborn non-citizens to earn political capital.

Āboltiņa’s political solutions are not sustainable

One of the reasons why Čigāne left Unity is why she thinks the party is in bad shape is the lack of a unified vision as to what they should do with all the public power they have accumulated. «Unity has to change more than just its management. The party has to understand that people that kept Solvita Āboltiņa’s management alive have remained in this party for years.»

Čigāne says that it was clear from people leaving the party in 2014 that Āboltiņa’s management is unsustainable. «Forcing another member of the party to step down to allow the party’s chairperson to enter the Saeima does not inspire confidence in the longevity of such solutions.»

The politician notes that Andris Piebalgs becoming chairman was the last chance of Unity to change. It was also the reason why Čigāne was conflicted about leaving. «We had several consultations with Piebalgs. Departing politicians were caught by his flame. They hoped he would find a way to stabilize the situation in Unity and return to the party’s initially established goals. This is why for the whole year while Piebalgs was holding Unity, we were trying our best to support him. But his departure was a signal – that changes in Unity should be of a different kind, and that there was no longer any way to change the situation.»

«There are still many people in Unity that share our views for Latvia’s politics. But until now they have been in the minority and their view is not a dominant one,» says the politician.

Politics that do not divide

«It seems to me that the time has come to stop dividing voters into Russian and Latvian-speakers, but rather focus on Latvia’s society as a whole. This is why it is very important for Latvia to have a political force that speaks of integration, a political force that is worth voting for. Politics that focus on dividing society is worthless. Such an approach is favoured by radicals who want to maintain the same old emotions and who find it interesting to keep dividing Latvia’s society,» says Čigāne.

The politician notes that there are many Russian-speaking people living in Latvia. Those people speak Russian at home, which makes sense if Russian is their native language. «There are many such people who work in public administration. Those people are well-integrated. You can tell from their names and surnames that Russian is their native language, but this is not important anymore. This is why it is important to continue social integration to make sure those people do not think there aren’t any people in Latvia worth voting for.»

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